Detectives used a clever ruse to get a theft suspect into custody while they were investigating a stolen property case earlier this month.
On July 17th, detectives from the Narcotics Unit responded to a storage facility in the 900 Block of South Bayview after receiving a call from the property owner. The owner told detectives that he had a court order directing him to take back his garage storage facility because the renter was in violation of the use terms. The owner explained that he entered the facility and saw what he believed to be guns and narcotics inside. He then stepped back out and contacted the detectives.
The owner showed the detectives the court paperwork. The detectives consulted with the Prosecutor’s Office and entered the facility with the owner’s permission. The guns turned out to be pellet guns, and the narcotics was actually narcotics paraphernalia. The facility was filled with an assortment of items such as power equipment, an air compressor, a car lift, motorcycles, bicycles, stereo equipment and a bag of police riot gear.
The detectives recognized the name of the renter as a suspect in previous narcotics cases. It was determined that several of the power grinders, a handgun case, and the police gear were all stolen property. The locks on the facility were changed and the unit was secured. Detectives now had probable cause to arrest the suspect for possession of stolen property.
On Monday, July 22nd, the facility was broken into and patrol officers caught and arrested an adult male inside. He told officers that he was let into the unit by the former renter, (now suspect) and was loading up items as instructed. The man officers had arrested was transported to the South Precinct. The detective called the former renter and convinced him to respond to the South Precinct on a ruse that he had to vouch for his friend. When the 50-year-old suspect arrived at the precinct he was arrested. He was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Possession of Stolen Property. The other man was booked into jail for an outstanding Department of Corrections felony warrant.
Although this turned out not to be a narcotics case, the detectives felt that since they started the investigation, they should see it through to the end.